The public is asked to keep an eye out for a Courtenay man, Michael Gazetas. Photo supplied

Search and rescue waits for defined area for missing Island man

Friends and family raise funds for search to narrow down location of Courtenay’s Michael Gazetas

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) is waiting to get a better general idea of where a missing Vancouver Island man might have gone.

In the meantime, friends and family of Michael Gazetas have raised about $35,000 for a search to help narrow the possibilities.

“The family and friends are currently working hand in hand with the RCMP,” says Paul Berry, CVGSAR president.

On a GoFundMe page, Searching for Gaz, set up to raise money for the search to narrow down potential locations, organizer Sue Biely posted on Feb. 4 that they got the first clue.

“This has reinvigorated our teams who needed a lead,” she said on the fundraising page, adding police asked that no details be released at this time.

Gazetas has been missing since Jan. 31 and was last seen leaving his house in Courtenay. People close to him think he might have gone north or into the bush, but there was no indication of where he might have gone.

RELATED STORY: Courtenay man is reported missing

CVGSAR is responsible for the Island, so they need to wait until the potential locations can be narrowed. Some of those searching now, Berry said, are search and rescue members, including some from the Mainland.

“They were able to hire a helicopter,” Berry said. In the meantime, CVGSAR was able to help out with some mapping for the effort, while the searchers continue looking.

The GoFundMe was aiming to raise $15,000 but had brought in $34,945 by mid-week. The helicopter costs $1,800 an hour with an additional $350 an hour for fuel.

According to Biely’s post, they have 10 teams on the ground. Searchers have covered southern parts of the Island and the west coast, including Port Renfrew, Tofino and Ucluelet, and areas north such as Zeballos and Fair Harbour. As of Wednesday, they are in the Campbell River area and points further west.

Gazetas, 51, is known to go into natural areas where he worked as a location manager and scout for the film industry. He is six feet tall and about 250 pounds.

“Gaz is a beautiful teddy bear of a man who has been a generous friend and fan of many his whole life,” Biely wrote on the GoFundMe page.

The Comox Valley RCMP detachment is 250-338-1321. The case file number is 2020-1779.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

missing person

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The public is asked to keep an eye out for a Courtenay man, Michael Gazetas. Photo supplied

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Voting now ready for Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read